Garrett Wins Suit Against Amish

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

"This is 2006. This is America. Everybody has their rights."

Ruth Irene Garrett had her rights denied when she tried shopping at Rocky Top Salvage last October. Garrett is a former member of the Amish community and was told that's why her business was not wanted.

"That's when she asked who I was. You know I told her and I confirmed who she thought I was and that's when she told me that she wouldn't serve me."

Garrett is an author of two books and one children's book about her life as an Amish. She left the church 10 years ago when she fell in love with an outsider. The owner of the store said she couldn't serve Garrett because she was ex-communicated from Amish life.

"She said it would jeopardize her religion and perhaps damn her soul to hell."

Garrett has been turned away at other stores, but she had shopped at Rocky Top Salvage before. That combined with the owners remarks, led Garrett to file a complaint with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. Last week they made a ruling on the case.

"They ruled in my favor that because she's open to the public she has to serve everyone. No matter race, religion, or anything else. She cannot discriminate if she's open to the public."

Garrett has yet to return to Rocky Top Salvage. She says she has friends who also have not gone because they fear they too will be turned away. She believes no one should be turned away from anywhere because of their beliefs.

"The Amish have the same rights as everybody else does. And they can shop freely no matter where they want to shop they can go where they please. And everybody else should have the same right."

Garrett was also awarded $100 for damages. She says she will donate that money to the Salvation Army.


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